Rotting Out - Ronin | Album Review

Following their three-year hiatus, California hardcore piece Rotting Out have been catapulted back into the forefront of the scene, with new release Ronin. Sporting a clear punk influence, this album is an in your face powerhouse, served with a sense of early 2000’s punk nostalgia.

This release offers short and punchy tracks from the off, with opener ‘Vessel’ hurling us into the madness. With a modern hardcore style of breakdown, it’s easy to see that their punk influences take precedent here. Offering a Black Flag style of fast pace tempo along with Pennywise-esque riffs, it’s a seemingly softer shift in their sound which works perfectly for them. ‘Stoner’ and 'Last Man Standing' encapsulates this mood perfectly; non-stop energy, with frontman Walter Delgado’s vocals fast and bouncy. One could only imagine the atmosphere when songs like this are performed live.

Despite the punky opening, the second half of this release offers a much darker tone. The angst cuts through these singles, with Delgado’s vocals sound as brutal as ever, harbouring anger and frustration. His violently honest lyrics offer themes of abuse and fear, with closing single ‘Boy’ delving into his dark past.

However, despite the dark lyricism, these singles really push the boundary between punk and hardcore. ‘Visceral’ envisions early 2000’s punk, and the bassline in ‘Still Her’ takes us back to early Green Day. However, the breakdown found on ‘Vessel’ suggests that hardcore is quite literally still at the core of this band. Whilst neither sound is new, their seamless blend of both genres offers a recipe like no other.

This effortless blend of genres paired with such brutal lyricism makes for an extremely angsty release. The power is never once toned down throughout, even with such upsetting themes present. Rotting Out as a collective really shine through on this record, proving that 00’s punk and hardcore is alive and kicking.

Score: 7.5/10

Ronin it out now via Pure Noise Records. You can purchase the record here.